man on side of pool.png
woman floating in pool.png
woman relaxing in pool.png

With regards to the storage and transportation of dangerous goods within Australia, pool and spa chemicals generally fall into three categories:

  • Class 5.1 Oxidisers - this includes all chlorine and bromine sanitisers, as well as oxidants like hydrogen peroxide.
  • Class 8 Corrosives - this includes most algaecides, filter and salt cell cleaners, and stain and scale preventatives.
  • Non-dangerous Goods - this includes most water balance chemicals, clarifiers and flocculants, and biguanide sanitisers (eg. Baquacil®).

The table below categorises products within the BioGuard and SpaGuard ranges (new, existing and superseded products as at 25 October 2000:)

Class 5.1 Oxidisers

Class 8 Corrosives

Non-dangerous Goods

BioGuard

  • Burn Out
  • Burn Out 35
  • Cal-Chlor-CLC
  • Lithium Hypochlorite
  • Salt Pool Sticks
  • Smart Sticks
  • Spot Kill
  • Stingy Sticks
  • Swim Clear
  • Swim Tabs

BioGuard

  • Back-Up II Algae Inhibitor
  • Filter Brite
  • MSA II Algaecide
  • Off The Wall
  • Oxy-Sheen
  • Pool Magnet
  • Pro-Dox
  • Protector Salt Pool Algaecide
  • Salt Cell Cleaner
  • Salt Pool Stain & Scale Control
  • Scale Inhibitor

BioGuard

  • Algizine
  • Balance Pak 100
  • Balance Pak 200
  • Balance Pak 300
  • Burn Out Extreme
  • Chem Out Neutraliser
  • Lite
  • Lo'N'Slo
  • Mineral Springs Beginnings
  • Mineral Springs Renewal
  • Optimiser
  • Pacific Blue Power Tabs
  • Polygard
  • Polysheen Plus
  • Power Chlor
  • Power Floc
  • Quick Clear
  • Salt Pool Sparkle
  • Salt Pool Stabiliser
  • Stabiliser
  • Super Clear Tabs
  • Water Sparkle

SpaGuard

  • Brominating Concentrate
  • Brominating Tablets
  • Chlorinated Concentrate

SpaGuard

  • Filter Brite
  • Stain & Scale Control

SpaGuard

  • Antifoam Concentrate
  • Balance Pak 100
  • Balance Pak 200
  • Balance Pak 300
  • Cover Renew
  • Lo'N'Slo
  • Optimiser Plus
  • Perfect Balance
  • Polysheen
  • Smart Tabs
  • Spa Lite
  • Swirl Away

In general, Class 5.1 oxidisers should be kept a minimum distance of 3 metres away from other dangerous goods (eg. the Class 8 corrosives) and potential fuel sources, like oils, petrol, solvents, combustibles, etc. One additional requirement is that calcium hypochlorite (cal hypo) be kept 3 metres away from any product containing sodium dichloroisocyanurate (dichlor) or trichloroisocyanuric acid (trichlor), even though all three are categorised as Class 5.1 oxidisers. This is because, when wet, cal hypo can react violently with the other two, possibly leading to fire or explosion. Note that lithium hypochlorite can be stored with any chlorine or bromine product.

Liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) is a special case because, although it is primarily a Class 8 corrosive, it also has Class 5.1 properties. As such, it should be stored separately from the rest of the Class 5.1 and Class 8 products, since it can react violently if it comes into contact with strong acids or bases. In contrast, there are no specific directions for storing bromine products additional to that for any other Class 5.1 item. Nevertheless, it is advisable to keep them apart from trichlor products since the two can react and liberate heat if moist.

Apart from the above storage requirements, there are a number of items that should be checked and/or maintained to ensure full compliance with WorkCover guidelines for retail establishments:
1. Fire extinguishers and other safety equipment should be checked on a periodic basis. A CO2 or dry powder extinguisher is suitable for most pool and spa chemical fires. Water extinguishers are NOT suitable for fires involving Class 5.1 chemicals.
2. All thoroughfares should be free of obstruction and, if not immediately evident, exits clearly indicated.
3. HazChem labelling should be clearly displayed on the front window of the store. Normally, this will require the standard "HazChem" sign, followed by the code "2WE", and the diamonds for Class 5.1 Oxidising Agents (yellow) and Class 8 Corrosives (black and white). If the store also stocks any flammable liquids, it will need a Class 3 (red) diamond. Storage of sizeable quantities of aerosols will require a Class 2 (green) diamond.
4. If service vehicles carry large quantities of pool chemicals in excess of 1000 kg, they need to be (i) approved for the transport of dangerous goods and (ii) placarded with appropriate dangerous goods signage. Contact the WorkCover Authority in your State or Territory for further information.
5. A clean-up plan should be in place for dealing with chemical spills. Having a separate dustpan and shovel (clearly marked) for cal hypo, another for dichlor and trichlor, and a third for other solid spills is a worthwhile investment. NEVER use a vacuum cleaner to clean up pool chemical spills!
6. For chemical splashes in the eyes, there must be a wash bottle filled with water or easy access to a tap under which the victim’s face can be placed.
7. Shop staff should have a basic awareness of the dangers of the products they are using and handling – much of what is relevant is on the backs of the containers themselves.
8. Local councils can provide additional information with regards to the storage of dangerous goods. There may be local variations, but the rules are generally the same throughout Australia.

The above list is by no means exhaustive. The role of WorkCover inspectors is to advise on any deficiencies and issue a period of grace in which to rectify them. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification from the inspector where necessary.

One final word of caution. In the event of a fire involving large quantities of cal hypo, NEVER try to extinguish the fire. Evacuate the premises immediately and contact the Fire Department, detailing the nature of the fire. The self-sustaining nature of cal hypo fires renders them nigh on impossible to deal with using hand-held extinguishers.

The above information is supplied by Bio-Lab and represents its best interpretation of available technical information at the time of preparation. The sole purpose is to supply factual information to Bio-Lab customers. It is not to be taken out of context nor used as support for any other claim not made herein.